Lyndale Liner's Newsletter

Lyndale Blog - May 2019

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CPTPP

Is the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, quite a mouthful? This agreement has been ratified by seven countries to date including NZ.

The others are Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and Vietnam.

So what does this mean to us plant producers?

On the surface not so much, BUT as many of you will recall the claim put before the Waitangi Tribunal Wai 262 (also known as the intellectual property, or flora and fauna claim), resulted in a judgement 7 years ago. (Some 18 years after the claims commencement).

Waitangi judgements are made and passed on to the Government of the day as recommendations.

In this case some seven years after the Waitangi Tribunal made recommendations to the government nothing has happened.

To give one example, the Waitangi Tribunal reported in 2011 on the Wai 262 claims addressing law and policy across a range of Government activity, including environmental management and intellectual property rights; matters covered by the CPTPP.

That report found the current law and policy settings in these areas were inconsistent with Treaty principles and made specific recommendations for reform that would address those inconsistencies.

 

Government In A Bind

To really put the acid on the Government it is required under the CPTPP to bring our intellectual property laws into line with our future free trading partners, which among other things means adopting (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants) UPOV 91; altering our legislation from the current convention of 1978 which we have clung on to rather than face the issues that have not been addressed around the crown obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Under International convention, no one person or entity can lay claim to native species. (Native selections that are Distinct, Uniform and Stable (DUS) are eligible for protection under the UPOV convention).

This is contrary to what was indicated under the Treaty, namely that Maori would retain control (and arguably ownership) of taonga species.

What precisely is a taonga species is somewhat fluid, depending on whom you talk with, but it would almost certainly include the most common species of native plants that come readily to people’s minds.

The tribunal commented in its Wai 262 recommendations that "over the next decade or so, the Maori-Crown Relationship, still currently fixed on Maori grievances, must shift to a less negative and more future-focused relationship at all levels." Seven years on Government leadership and direction is hard to detect.

The Crux of the issue is "Current laws, for example, allow others to commercialize Maori artistic and cultural works such as haka and ta moko without iwi or hapu acknowledgement or consent. They allow scientific research and commercialization of indigenous plant species that are vital to iwi or hapu identity without input from those iwi or hapu."

 

 

Get On With It

Having spent a day recently listening to Maori perspectives on the issue, I understand the frustration that, despite the recommendations coming out from the Waitangi Tribunal some seven years ago, successive governments have done nothing to accept the recommendations or reject them. They have ignored them.

Bio-prospecting is one of the concerns. For example Knightia excelsa (we have some excellent plants available this month), the inner cambium layer was used by Maori to bandage over a wound to stop bleeding and assist in the healing process. The bark contains beta-sitosterol and a leucocyanidin.

Beta-sitosterol is the major component of an American proprietary drug used to lower cholesterol levels, there are many more such lost opportunities.

It is a good thing that it is still fun growing and supplying plants.

Winter is coming.

Kind regards
Malcolm & the Lyndale Team

 


Balancing act continues


Knightia excelsa

 

Lyndale Nurseries

Post PO Box 81 022, Whenuapai, Auckland
Street 82 Trig Rd, Whenuapai, Auckland
Web www.lyndale.co.nz
Email enquiries@lyndale.co.nz
Phone 09 416 8482
Fax 09 416 9268
   
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